Impact of 6000 kilometers: what will be the hypersonic weapons of the US Army

In small steps




Obviously, the US does not fully understand which hypersonic weapon they want, but they understand the many risks associated with this. That is why the work is being carried out in several directions at once, taking into account, however, a reasonable unification.

There are many problems. This is especially true for aiming at the target in the final section of the flight. A typical example of the difficulties encountered in the development of hypersonic weapons is the testing of the X-51 rocket, which ended in failure in 2011 and 2012. By the way, the U.S. Air Force recently abandoned a more modern analogue of this missile, the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), but continued to work on another hypersonic complex, namely the Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon, or AGM-183A.


About this we all have not so long ago in detail have talked. We also touched on the project for the Ground Forces, which received the designation Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW). This question is all the more relevant since recently a lot of interesting information about LRHW has been presented.

US Army Long Arm


LRHW is not a completely new phenomenon. Back in May last year, the American Breaking Defense website in Army Moves Out On Lasers, Hypersonics: Lt. Gen. Thurgood ”talked about the presentation of the details of the system, designated Hypersonic Weapons System. In short, it was a land-based solid-propellant ballistic missile with the versatile guided maneuverable planning hypersonic Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) warhead. It was developed by the Sandian National Laboratories of the US Department of Energy. Missiles with blocks are placed on a two-container installation towed by an Oshkosh M983A4 (8x8) tractor.


In September, the Center for Strategy and Technology Analysis blog reported that in August 2019, the American Lockheed Martin received a $ 347 million contract from the U.S. Army to create a prototype Long Range Hypersonic Weapon hypersonic weapon system. He, according to all available data, is the very Hypersonic Weapons System introduced in the spring.

The previously announced data once again found confirmation. According to them, the ballistic missile will have a hull diameter of 887 mm with a transport and launch container length of about 10 m. The launcher semi-trailer is nothing but a new version of the M870 semi-trailer used for the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system. To control the fire, the standard American missile and artillery fire control system AFATDS in version 7.0 will be used. The Long Range Hypersonic Weapon LRHW battery should include four launchers and one fire control machine.


Along with a $ 347 million contract for Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Army signed a $ 352 million contract with Dynetics Technical Solutions. It involves the production of the first serial kit of the hypersonic warhead Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB). Recall, C-HGB is a unified glider biconical design. Behind him is already a cycle of trials - successful, according to the Americans.

“We have chosen a strong team with various skill sets to help the US counter the threat posed by Russian and Chinese hypersonic weapons developments.”

“Said Dynetics Technical Solutions President Steve Cook.

Under the contract, twenty C-HGB units for the U.S. Army, Navy, and Missile Defense Agency must be ready by 2023.

Appearance and features


The LRHW complex has a well-recognized appearance - primarily due to the massive dual launcher. What exactly will it be, the US Army showed on materials released in February, which dealt with the training of the military using virtual reality. The media called the Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) installation: it is similar to what we could previously see in the spring presentation materials.


On February 27, a Long Range Hypersonic Weapon model was shown in Washington. Except for the six-wheeled tractor instead of the previously announced eight-wheeled Oshkosh M983A4, then in its appearance the previously shown LRHW is well recognized. The biggest intrigue can be called characteristics that are still a secret. If you try to summarize all the available data, then the range of Long Range Hypersonic Weapon can reach 6000 kilometers at a speed comparable or even higher than that of the Boeing X-51, capable, according to the project, of accelerating to more than 7000 kilometers per hour.

Impact of 6000 kilometers: what will be the hypersonic weapons of the US Army

No less important is the purpose of the complex. And also, whether it can be compared with something that other countries have or will have. It is immediately worth noting that the United States is not trying to play catch-up with Russia, as some media say. It would be more correct to say that the Americans are going their own way, and direct analogies with other systems are not entirely appropriate.

Take, for example, the “Dagger”, the carrier of which is the MiG-31K. And which is similar (at least externally) to a single-stage solid-fuel missile with an inseparable warhead 9M723 of the Iskander operational-tactical missile system. Now let's look at the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon, where the defeat of the target is achieved due to the aforementioned C-HGB block, the role of which is played by a ballistic missile. The difference is serious.


At the same time, Long Range Hypersonic Weapon can hardly be called “strategic”. Unless conditional. Despite the theoretically high potential, this complex and its likely analogues will not be a substitute for the classical nuclear triad, which without them feels quite good, despite the decent age of the same Ohio-type submarines. These are incomparable things: neither in terms of flight speed, nor even more in terms of thrown mass.

On the other hand, the new US hypersonic weapon can make the conventional arsenal of Americans even more deadly. In this sense, without a doubt, and LRHW, and AGM-183A, and hypersonic weapons for fleet it may turn out to be a significant step forward - an alternative to cruise missiles, whose relatively low subsonic flight speed makes them potentially vulnerable to interception by modern air defense systems. In the distant future, given the mass production of hypersonic complexes of various types and purposes, one can still expect gradual displacement by them of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine ballistic missiles. But, again, this is definitely not a question of the coming years.
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  1. Alexey Sommer 9 March 2020 05: 39 New
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    Ilya Legat is a clear fan of the United States. ) Apparently the true name of Eliyahu)
    Why are you shy of your name by the way?
    Embellishes and enhances their achievements.
    In the style of "their own way." etc.
    Well, let it remain on his conscience. We do not mind.)
    While they will embellish and increase "Our guys still come up with something."))
  2. bessmertniy 9 March 2020 06: 04 New
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    It is clear that the Americans are now trying to take revenge on hypersound, but I think that our developers have no less imagination, but the fruits of this fantasy will probably be hidden for as long as possible behind a veil of secrecy.
    1. dorz 9 March 2020 16: 50 New
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      Quote: bessmertniy
      It is clear that the Americans are now trying to take revenge on hypersound ...

      For Americans, hypersonic development is not a priority. The United States relies on modernized Trident II D5 ballistic missiles with reduced W-76s of 5-7 kilotons, BRMD, as well as the launch into space of nuclear weapons and missile defense.
      1. Grigory_45 10 March 2020 20: 50 New
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        Quote: dorz
        The United States is betting on ballistic modernized Trident II D5 missiles with reduced W-76 charges of 5-7 kilotons

        tell us what is the great point of a reduced-charge ICBM ???
        1. dorz 10 March 2020 22: 20 New
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          Quote: Gregory_45
          Quote: dorz
          The United States is betting on ballistic modernized Trident II D5 missiles with reduced W-76 charges of 5-7 kilotons

          tell us what is the great point of a reduced-charge ICBM ???

          On one Trident II D5 missile will be delivered not 8 warheads of 450 kilotons, but 14, as a result, one such submarine as SSBN 734 Tennessee will hold 156 charges more. Meaning: more goals, less harm to the environment and civilian infrastructure, which means they can be used in local conflicts or threaten.
          1. Grigory_45 11 March 2020 09: 06 New
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            Quote: dorz
            Not one 5 8 kiloton warheads will be put on one Trident II D450 missile, but 14, as a result, one such submarine as SSBN 734 Tennessee will hold 156 charges more

            you probably know that START-3 determines max. the number of carriers and warheads. That is, did the Americans consciously reduce the power of their nuclear forces? Part of the warheads will become much less power.
            In addition, the same START-3 determines no more than 4 warheads on each of the missiles.

            Quote: dorz
            more goals

            What is it like? One missile will not be able to hit Moscow and Novosibirsk at the same time, for example, be in it at least 500 warheads. Their breeding also has limits.
            Again - the less powerful the charge, the much more accurate the hit. Now Tridents provide a CVO of the order of 90 meters - for a warhead of 5 kT this is a lot (not to mention that there are objects that can withstand a direct hit of such a warhead)

            Quote: dorz
            less damage to the environment and civilian infrastructure, which means they can be used in local conflicts

            the opposite side, most likely, will not care which ICBM flies in its direction - with a megaton warhead or tactical. On the rocket is not written. And in response it will shy away with all the available power.

            In general, as I did not see the point in small charges, I still do not see it.
            1. dorz 11 March 2020 11: 12 New
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              So the Americans are going to withdraw from the START-3 treaty, but for now this submarine strategic missile carrier has already taken to combat duty with modernized warheads at the end of 2019.
  3. Vyacheslav Viktorovich 9 March 2020 06: 05 New
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    tests of the X-51 rocket, which ended in failure in 2011 and 2012. By the way, the US Air Force recently abandoned a more modern analogue of this rocket, the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW).
    The United States has an ideological continuation of the X-51 - HAWC (Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept) - which no one has refused. As for the HCSW, it wasn’t even a scramjet (like the X-51), but, in general, it seemed to be a solid rocket -

    https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/12/17/1961775/0/en/Aerojet-Rocketdyne-Selected-to-Provide-Solid-Rocket-Motor-for-Lockheed-Martin-Hypersonic-Conventional-Strike-Weapon.html
  4. KCA
    KCA 9 March 2020 06: 35 New
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    Take, for example, the “Dagger”, which is in service, and compare it with the LRHW, which is unknown when it will fly, and whether it will fly at all, feel the difference, and certainly our designers do not consider the “Dagger” to be the pinnacle of technical thought and threw everything else development, what problems can prevent to make a smaller version of the "Vanguard" for launch "Yars", mine or mobile? At the time of the attack, the X-22 developed a speed above 8 MAX, only it was not said about it that it was hypersonic, for some reason, by 22 or 32 it’s possible to simply make a detachable controlled warhead, more precisely not simple, but the task is completely solvable and will require much less than 700 million dollars
    1. Grigory_45 10 March 2020 21: 01 New
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      Quote: KCA
      LRHW, which is unknown when it will fly, and whether it will fly at all

      what can prevent her (except for financial disasters)? The system is very simple: a detachable hypersonic warhead was installed on a conventional liquid propellant rocket propulsion system.

      Quote: KCA
      X-22 at the time of the attack of the target developed a speed over 8 MAX

      but these values ​​- where ??? The storm, depending on the modification and flight profile (low or high), developed from 3 to 4,5 M.
      A maximum of 6M was developed by the aeroballistic X-22B, which remained experimental.
      1. KCA
        KCA 11 March 2020 01: 43 New
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        Well, yes, they didn’t completely disperse the X-22 by 8, LL “Rainbow-D2” based on it, the designers said it would be necessary to 12, we’ll disperse by 12, earlier this information was on the off-site of the GosMKB “Rainbow”, now there is no site, there is only a general KTRV, but there is no information on developments at all
  5. Amateur 9 March 2020 07: 07 New
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    The LRHW complex has a well-recognized appearance - primarily due to the massive dual launcher

    The author revealed the main secret of American hypersound: the number of bridges at the launcher
    six-wheeled tractor instead of the previously announced eight-wheeled
    .
    Some time ago, a generator of texts from English names and obscure numbers was called E. Damantsev. Now - I. Legat. What is it for? what
  6. Ham
    Ham 9 March 2020 07: 13 New
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    they unfortunate r-180 can not copy what kind of hypersound ...
    they fly on our engines of the 70s but tell how now they’ll gash "their hypersound - with black jack and ..."
    "- Polkan, will you build a Flying Ship?
    - buy it! "
    ... and yes, advertising and marketing came up in America!
    1. fider 9 March 2020 09: 30 New
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      Ham
      ... "they fly on our engines of the 70s" ...
      And what about the “scratch”, have you forgotten what Putin said?
      1. Ham
        Ham 9 March 2020 09: 36 New
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        remind what Putin said
  7. Nikolaevich I 9 March 2020 07: 29 New
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    “The Americans go their own way ...”? Really? belay Now in the "sphere" of creating hypersonic weapons there are not so many "development paths" ... and they are all known! So from which hangover, the "development path" chosen by the Americans, became "purely American"? request Some time ago, in the states, they didn’t consider “rocket hypersound” at a “high level”! .... That is, they didn’t consider “in an adult way” “devices” with solid propellant rocket engines and rocket engines! Their oddities were "aerodynamic air-reactive products" ... If they got "chisels" with solid propellant rocket engines, rocket engines, reaching the hypersonic range, then this was mainly a "side effect" of the developed project .... type: " not really wanted, but it happened ... "! (Not so long ago, a debate on the topic was in full swing at VO: what is entitled to be called a “hypersonic product (weapon)” ... but “sho no!” Moreover, opponents of Russian “hypersonic terminology” referred to the “American opinion "!" Tilka with ramjet-correct hypersound! ") More recently, in a comment on one article, I expressed the opinion that the X-47M2" Dagger "is, first of all, a practical demonstrator that came to mind by the military, the concept! In a way, he was "blinded from what was"! But "Dagger-2" will be developed (being developed?) More "specially meaningful"! And the "idea with a detachable warhead" like the American "six-thousandth glider" fits perfectly into this sense! And why did some “tovarischi” decide that they would not create 2-stage “daggers” with a separate booster block? After all, it seems, no one gave them such an occasion! Or such a hitch ... first the "sea calibers" appeared ... and soon, they started talking about the "ground" and "aviation" ... A Zircon is being created in the marine version, but rumors have already been sent about the ground and aviation versions ... So what is surprising is that a ground-based 2-stage Iskander-2 with a controlled warhead glider will appear soon!? Now, the topic is becoming relevant: "Protection against hypersonic weapons"! This topic is new and almost not covered in the internet or in "militaristic" magazines ... It would be possible to open this topic at VO ... after all, readers can have crazy ideas! Really "real violent" will be few in our ranks? ... True, there is a "double-edged sword"! And some thought overshadows the proposal ....
    1. bk0010 9 March 2020 13: 04 New
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      Quote: Nikolaevich I
      "Tilka with ramjet-correct hypersound!"
      I completely agree with this: only with a ramjet it is possible to build a hypersonic aircraft. And so our P-7 can be considered a hypersonic weapon.
    2. voyaka uh 9 March 2020 15: 57 New
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      "So it’s surprising that the ground-based 2-stage Iskander-2 with a controlled warhead glider will soon appear ////
      ---
      So this is exactly what the Americans are doing. The easiest option:
      BR + glider.
      1. Nikolaevich I 10 March 2020 02: 28 New
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        Quote: voyaka uh
        So this is exactly what Americans do

        Yes, I don’t argue what the Americans are doing there! I only object that the "first and only" idea came to the Americans "ent" idea! But everyone has their own priorities in general and, at one stage or another, in particular! This is what I expressed in my comment!
  8. Voyager 9 March 2020 08: 43 New
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    I don’t understand where the witnesses of the scramjet went?) Assuring us that our hypersound is somehow not correct and not Orthodox laughing
    1. bk0010 9 March 2020 13: 04 New
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      What do you want?
  9. Stalllker 9 March 2020 08: 54 New
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    The name itself is already interesting "what WILL", and maybe it won’t)))) although missile ICBM heads do not fly slowly anyway, the essence of the concept is that they change the trajectory, which in principle is real
    1. Romario_Argo 9 March 2020 11: 44 New
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      the standard target for our air defense systems is Buk / Calm, S-350 / Redoubt / S-400 / S-300 / Fort, S-300V4
      except short-range air defense system: armor / torus / tunguska / wasp / arrow / pine - beyond the speed of 2 km / sec.
      1. voyaka uh 9 March 2020 13: 15 New
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        Then the Dagger with the Vanguard is the goal for them laughing
        Because the American rocket is their mixture. BRDS with detachable glider-warhead.
        1. Romario_Argo 9 March 2020 13: 29 New
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          what does the dagger and avant-garde (?) have to do with it - these are our IOS and our anti-aircraft missile systems - don’t be blunt
          now you owe me one (+) to fix your (-)
          1. voyaka uh 9 March 2020 14: 15 New
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            I never put cons. Only pluses or nothing.
            ----
            I meant that such gliders are a difficult target for any air defense. Therefore, they began to make Russian, Chinese, Americans. The trajectory cannot be calculated in advance. Therefore, do not hit towards. Following the glider does not catch up.
            1. Romario_Argo 9 March 2020 15: 46 New
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              you probably meant that it is not possible to calculate the lead point, and as a result there is a large overspending of the missile defense system in order to block all possible deviations in advance, with sectors of 30 degrees in the field of 240 degrees + center = 9 missile defense
              the same calculations apply against hypersonic Zircon
  10. Khoja Nasredin 9 March 2020 09: 42 New
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    It would be better all together created a vaccine from the Crown.
  11. voyaka uh 9 March 2020 13: 12 New
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    Narrated in detail.
    The new US rocket is not a cruise missile.
    This is a ballistic missile with trimmed glider. There is no ramjet engine on the glider.
    That is, we get a mixture of Dagger and Vanguard.
    1. Grigory_45 10 March 2020 21: 06 New
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      Quote: voyaka uh
      That is, we get a mixture of Dagger and Vanguard

      The dagger here is generally no side. The American LRHW is a detachable glider BRDS, as you said earlier. In fact, this is Yars with a modification of the Vanguard
  12. Proctologist 9 March 2020 13: 43 New
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    Hm. The author claims that the X-51 tests "ended in failure." Is it? .. I'm not saying that failure is a perfectly fit result testthat Musk is now posting in SpaceX:

    Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough./ Failure is an option. If nothing breaks, you are not innovative enough.

    X-51 managed for some minutes to fly in a ramjet with hypersonic speed. Less than they wanted, and the X-51, apparently, was poorly controlled, but this is quite a result in the understanding of the engineer of such a school. Failures are different - because of crooked hands and poor quality, then they do not give anything, but they are constructive, in which one more step is taken to understand the correct design decisions.

    In my opinion, the X-51 - it was cool! We have not seen anything like it. Maybe it is in China and they don’t show it to us. Maybe we have one - the latter is highly unlikely, since aircraft engines are not Russia's strong side. But we did not see a controlled jet (not rocket) flight at hypersonic speeds up to X-51.
  13. Operator 9 March 2020 13: 58 New
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    LRHW - no more than a two-stage medium-range ballistic missile with a controlled warhead (UBB). It differs from Iskander-M only in the presence of the second stage, which is part of the modernization potential of the Russian BR (see the Soviet Volga BRDS project based on the Oka OTR).

    Aeroballistic AGM-183A - nothing more than an analogue of the Russian "Dagger", which has already been put into service in contrast to the American missile.

    Aeroballistic missiles and ballistic RSD with UBB have been known since the shaggy times of Skybolt and Pershing-II. Therefore, the innovation in the field of hypersonic weapons is only motor hypersound (which allows you to achieve twice as long range with the same ratio of starting weight and payload) in the face of the Russian Zircon cruise missile, an analogue of which the US has no and is not expected to achieve.
  14. Phoenix 9 March 2020 18: 26 New
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    Why does the author compare with a dagger? Conceptually, this is very similar to the avant-garde. And TTX and intended use. The only big difference is the performance in the form
  15. Nikolai 9 March 2020 22: 25 New
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    American hypersonic programs have a long history, and things are still there. There are no engines, control systems, guidance, navigation, booster stages, warheads, ground infrastructure, production facilities - nothing but cartoons. Well, money ... The Pentagon budget will not pull this weapon. And time is running out.
  16. About 100 Patriot 10 March 2020 21: 21 New
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    The United States will not create hyper sonic rockets as if they didn’t want it, the reason lies in the metal alloy from which the engine for the rocket is made, and only Russia has this alloy, since it is classified, tolerates high temperatures and loads, it makes rockets RD-180 engines, which the United States still purchases from Russia, how many times they copied it and nothing good came of it. target. And all of America will rejoice ...
  17. Old26 12 March 2020 16: 15 New
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    Quote: Gregory_45
    tell us what is the great point of a reduced-charge ICBM ???

    American2 believe that this will allow:
    a) minimize collateral losses. So they show a kind of "humanity." For example, striking a power plant (state district power station, thermal power plant, thermal power plant). The use of such a unit will make it possible to disable the power station, but not to affect the town of power engineers, which is located 3-5 km from the station (this is their "humanity"). Moreover, such a mini-charge will still allow you to quickly recover if they need a broken
    b) in their opinion, sometimes it is necessary to conduct a "demonstration", but at the same time a surgical strike on targets in a certain country (not in Russia). To strike a blow of 100 ct or 400 ct in a block will be a lot of destruction. But a 5 ct charge can be demolished or the palace of the ruler, or something that is valuable for a particular country. A kind of "last warning"
    For actions on targets in Russia, such charges are unsuitable. They (the Americans) are well aware that there will be no gentlemen’s agreements with them (that is, in response to their 5-kt, they also apply 5 kt). They are well aware that Russia will never do such a thing.

    Quote: dorz
    On one Trident II D5 missile will be delivered not 8 warheads of 450 kilotons, but 14, as a result, one such submarine as SSBN 734 Tennessee will hold 156 charges more. Meaning: more goals, less harm to the environment and civilian infrastructure, which means they can be used in local conflicts or threaten.

    As far as voiced, no one is going to put a full set of 14 5-ct warheads on SLBMs. There will be 1-2 missiles on the boat on which will stand either one such block, or 2-3, but no more. In principle, the Americans are now repeating the English scheme for basing charges on SSBNs ...
    placing more goals on a racket is not the best option for the USA. They would have to reduce the number of missiles in boats. If now they have 20 SLBMs on each Ohio, then in this situation they would have to “emasculate” additional silo launchers

    Quote: Gregory_45
    In addition, the same START-3 determines no more than 4 warheads on each of the missiles.

    You are not quite right. The START-3 treaty removed such a parameter as the number of BG on a rocket. If earlier the number with which a particular rocket passed the tests was taken into account, now there is no such parameter. You can place on one rocket, for example 1-2 warheads, and on the rest - 4-6. The main thing is that your total number of BGs does not exceed the allowed one. Under START-3 (unlike previous treaties), there is no provision for sublevels on ICBMs, SLBMs, pp. bombers. Now each side decides for itself. The main thing is that the ceilings under the OSV-2 agreement are respected, that is, on ICBMs - no more than 10 blocks, on SLBMs - no more than 14, on a bomber - no more than 28 (despite the fact that there is an offset of 1 bomber - 1 charge ...

    Quote: dorz
    So the Americans are going to withdraw from the START-3 treaty, but for now this submarine strategic missile carrier has already taken to combat duty with modernized warheads at the end of 2019.

    It is not interconnected ...